Thursday, September 22, 2011

These Dogs are Barkin'!

Did you know that gel insoles for your shoes are on the TSA list of prohibited items? I didn't! Maybe it's because I didn't read the list thoroughly enough (because I know better than to bring a meat cleaver on board) or perhaps it's because it's all the way at the bottom of the list but wow! Does that mean gel-padded bras are not allowed as well? (Just FYI, the insoles can be put in your checked luggage and that's fine).

This particular ban hasn't affected me until now since I only use insoles for heeled shoes (in particular, Dr. Scholl's 'for her' insoles) since flat shoes don't bother me much. However, over the summer I got a pair of lace up boots (because they were only $30, how could I resist?) but they don't offer much in the way of arch support so I got some Dr. Scholl's massaging gel arch supports and literally, it's like walking on clouds. I highly recommend these for traveling because they'll keep you happy and comfortable while touring and sightseeing. Anyway, I wanted to wear these shoes (with the insoles) on my Hawaii trip for the following reasons:
      1. Our departure date is January 1 so it's going to be cold and there's a likelihood that there will be snow on the ground and these shoes will offer some protection.
      2. These shoes slip on and off rather easily and follow my travel etiquette guidelines of not holding the lines up at the security checkpoints.
      3. We will definitely be doing some hiking in potentially rainy conditions as well as some cold weather touring (sunrise at Haleakala will be 40 degrees) so I will need some sturdy/waterproof/warm shoes and these fit the bill.
So I figure I have three options. The bravest option is to leave the insoles in my shoes when they get sent through the x-ray machine and have the TSA agents "use their discretion" in allowing/forbidding me to bring the insoles with me through security. The cowardly option is to just leave my insoles at home and not even chance it or find some less comfy non-gel insoles (boo!). And the in-between option is to toss the insoles in my carry on luggage and hope that they don't notice them - which is what I've decided to do. It's not as flamboyant-in-their-face as leaving them in my shoes so hopefully they won't cause a ruckus. Worst case: they make me toss them, in which case I won't argue and I'll have lost $10 - no biggie. But to be frank, I've left little tubes of lip gloss and lotions in random pockets in my bags on almost every flight I've taken since the 3-1-1 rule started and haven't gotten in trouble yet (knock on wood).

Cheers!

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